Monday, May 9, 2011

Does Time Slow Down During a Crisis?

David Eagleman, an Assistant Professor of neuroscience and psychology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas recently reported on experiments of his team that showed that despite what folks commonly experience, time does not slow down during a crisis. Nor does brain processing speed up, so that time seems to slow down. What their research shows is that during a crisis, such as a NDE, often "the part of the brain called the amygdale becomes more active, and lays down extra sets of memories that go along with the actual events." So when you play the event back in your memory, you recall time slowing down, though that is not what happened.

Let’s consider another common part of a Near Death Experience, the life review. People having a NDE often report a replaying of their whole life as part of the experience. I do not want to take away from the spiritual aspect of the NDE, that is an essential part of my life. But I think a life review would be explained as a logical part of how consciousness works during a life threatening crisis, especially if we view consciousness as part of the DNA's adaptability. In an earlier blog I discussed how natural selection would need to limit PSI ability. The link is here

My experiences and study of Remote Viewing, and other PSI events, has led me to believe that PSI is part of the normal processing of information that constitutes consciousness. Dr. Jim Carpenter's "First Sight" model of PSI, and Dr. Christine Hardy's exploration of Semantic Constellations both describe " pre-experiential mental processes by which the mind structures all its experiences and commences all its actions", as Dr. Carpenter notes. I noticed, as I look at the mind as an evolved tool of genes, shaped by and tailored for the process of natural selection, that we can see the process of consciousness conforming also to the process of natural selection. This process requires three things, genetic variation, inheritance, and differential fitness. Consciousness provides these three things. Your thoughts, beliefs, ideas and knowledge vary and change over time, the raw materials in your brain progress and grow. Likewise, these things remain inheritable from situation to situation you find yourself in over time, that is what memory is. But it is existence of differential fitness in mental process that shows just how great thinking is as a tool evolved over time. With mental processes, the range of adaptability is vastly increased in the individual. Also, the range of solutions to problems is beyond just conscious problem solving. Research shows that subliminally, the brain is gathering and processing information, and solutions to problems can spontaneously pop into your consciousness without conscious effort. As you experience, the vast majority of what you do is initiated and carried out without your considered effort, because your mind is processing multiple systems of information constantly, subconsciously.

But when you encounter a new situation, the brain scrambles to adapt to the novel environmental factor it needs to deal with. It does this by trying known solutions to similar events, and if that does not work, it goes into automatic, instinctual and "dis-associated" mode as it rapidly tries to find a way to process the new information. Getting back to NDEs, people who have had them commonly report they recall their minds experiencing multiple thought lines at once, like those reported by Albert Heim who recounted his own brush with death during a fall. It is also in these crisis moments that PSI events occur, as all available data from the mind is accessed to adapt to the potentially life ending event. If the material for thought and consciousness is being processed to insure survival, then could the "life review" be a memory data dump, a last chance attempt to access all the stored experiences of the individual, making it available for the conscious and especially the subconscious to use to come up with a last second save? Could the sense of "linear time" of the life review be, like the recalled experience of time slowing down during crisis, simply be the memory's way of organizing the entire life data file when it’s recalled later? Can you recall your life any other way?

Again, I am not saying that all of an NDE is just biological processes. But the life review fits right in with an understanding of how consciousness works. It is that same understanding of the mind processes that help explain where PSI fits in, and helps me understand the dynamics involved in Remote Viewing.
-- Benton Bogle